Bodog Poker Review
Are you looking for a secure and reliable poker site that accepts Canadian players? In narrowing down your choice further, would you prefer a place where small to moderate stakes play is not only welcome, but encouraged? If your answer to both questions is "yes," you're in luck. The Bodog poker site at poker.bodog.eu, licensed and regulated in Antigua, has been operating successfully since 2004. While, granted, you're unlikely to run into a lot of high stakes pros playing there, you will find, a sufficient variety of both cash games and tournaments to meet most players' needs and expectations.
Not having to worry about a bunch of poker sharks out of your league using sophisticated tracking tools taking over your table and messing up your game is probably a good thing. In fact, if you are a somewhat seasoned player, the soft competition will be perfect for you. If you are new to the game, you will find others not any more advanced than you. Or you can even start off with play money, if you wish, then switch to real money when you are ready. (By the way, tell your friends in the U.S. that while they can't play at Bodog, they can join its rebranded program, Bovada and play there).
How's Bodog's Exclusive Software?
Bodog uses its own software, the Bodog Recreational Model, which it updated in 2011. One important new feature, which has raised controversy because many players don't like it, is anonymous tables. Instead of screen names, all cash players are identified simply by their table and seat number. In tournaments, each player is assigned a number, as well, which remains that player's number throughout the tournament. Poker pros don't like anonymous tables because they are no longer able to use player tracking methods in order to get advance information about how their opponents tend to play the game. Actually, Bodog introduced the idea of anonymous tables to make the game more attractive to recreational players who don't care about player tracking and feel more comfortable facing players in their own league.
Bodog's software also includes a "Robot cam" whereby players can see the additional cards that would have been dealt when a hand is finished early. This feature also has its pros and cons. Players can use the additional information as an instructional tool. However, it can be more aggravating and distracting than helpful during the actual course of play when full attention should be given to the current hand. The forced re-focus on could haves, would haves, and should haves won't let you replay a hand that is now history.
You can also used Poker Tracker to review your own hand history for the entire game, but for your current session only. The stats are not saved for future reference.
The Bodog software can be quickly and easily downloaded on your computer. Or you can use the instant-play no download flash version limiting you to just one game at a time. The creators are to be commended for making a well designed, aesthetically pleasing website that is easy to navigate and not overly cluttered or confusing.
Bodog Promotions and Bonus Offers - New Player Bonuses
100% Sign Up Bonus Up to $1,000
All new players are eligible to receive a 100% Welcome Bonus, up to $1,000.The amount you receive depends on two things: the size of your first day's deposit and how many poker points you accrue in the first 60 days after opening your account. In other words, the maximum Welcome Bonus you can receive is the amount of your deposit, but whether or not you get that much depends on your play. Unlike the typical online casino bonus, where additional deposits besides the opening one on the first day are counted as the 2nd, 3rd deposit, etc., at Bodog they all count together as your initial deposit and also your potential bonus.
Every time you play and contribute money into a cash game raked pot, you are awarded poker points. At Bodog, six tiers are used to rate your play, and as you move up the ladder, you earn an increasing number of poker points, which will determine, in turn, the exact size of your bonus. (For more information about how the system works, including a full explanation how the poker points are calculated, check the website directly.)
As a new player, your bonus doesn't stop with the Welcome Bonus. You also automatically get invitations for not one but six freerolls, three a week, for two weeks. These are qualifying tournaments which could earn you a seat in the Sunday $100,000 guaranteed tournament.
Ongoing Bonuses for All Players
Royal Flush Bonus
Not that this best of all possible hands is even remotely likely to happen, but if it does, Bodog will sweeten the pot even more. They will give you a bonus of 50x the big blind, up to a maximum of $200.
Bad Beat Bonus
This is another longshot that will probably never happen-having your Aces Full of Kings or better beaten by another player's 4 of a Kind or better. In a tournament, that kind of "bad beat" would be a catastrophe, but in a Bodog ring game, celebrate your "bad beat" with a special bonus of 100x the big blind, up to $1,000!
You don't have to be a new player to get invited to a freeroll. All players with a sufficient number of poker points are invited to take part in that week's $5,000 freeroll tournament. The regular freeroll runs every other Saturday, while a turbo freeroll runs every other Thursday. Entry to either is with a 1,000 points buy-in, or you can play in the freeroll qualifier for a much smaller buy-in.
Bodog offers several fast and secure deposit options. These include Online Debit, Express Bank Transfer, Internet Banking, Over the Counter, and ATM deposits. The only method of withdrawal is through local bank transfer. However, the processing time is faster than you would think, usually within 24 hours.
Bodog uses a single wallet system, which is nice to know if, like thousands of other poker players, you also bet on sports and other casino games. You can use the same account for all of your activity on the website. No transferring of funds back and forth is necessary.
Regularly Scheduled Cash Games and Tournaments
Bodog offers all of the basic forms of poker you probably want to play: limit and no limit hold 'em, along with stud and Omaha (including hi-lo). The games are available in a wide enough range of limits to suit most players. Along with cash games, you can, if you wish, enter a sit n' go or regularly scheduled tournament.
Once you select the type of game you wish to play, you are shown three tables. How many you play at-one, two, or all three simultaneously-is up to you. However, if you play multiple games, the window that includes game details and other helpful features is only available for the main table.
Low stakes players are welcome. In fact, games with limits as low as 10-25 cents are available. Even at much higher limits, the competition tends to be soft. Much of the traffic is from recreational players coming in from the sportsbook and main casino.
If you're new to poker, or if you haven't played in awhile, you will appreciate the 1,000 non-negotiable chips for free play you receive when you sign up. You can also log on to the site's Poker School which offers basic information about bankroll, poker terms, and betting options and strategies.
Current Major Tournaments
How does playing in the WPT Montreal grab you? Up until November 3, Bodog is giving you a chance to win not only a seat, but travel to and accommodations in Montreal, by playing in one of the daily satellites. It is a prize package worth $6,000. But even if you don't win a seat this time, for the first time ever, the big event will be televised so you can follow all of the thrilling action. Then you'll have a whole year to fine tune your game and maybe next year grab a piece of the big money yourself.
In addition to the WPT satellites, there's still time to get in on plenty of other exciting tournament action at Bodog. The Golden Spade Poker Open, also running till November 3, includes over 50 Championship Series events with a total prize pool of $1.5 M. The Grand Prize winner will take home $60,000 or more. While the entry fee for the main event is $450, most of the other events are $100 or less. Or you can buy into a satellite for a mere $3.30 and see what happens. Check the website for the remaining schedule.
Note: If it is too late to enter the above tournaments, Bodog frequently offers satellites for many other big tournaments. Check the website for details.
Playing poker at Bodog is safe and secure. All of your personal information and financial transactions are securely encrypted and kept private so your identity and money are fully protected. In addition, the site employs the latest random shuffling technology to insure that all of the cards are dealt fairly and unpredictably.
If you have any questions or concerns, Customer Support is available 24/7 via phone or email to assist you. However, response time could be better. Hopefully, in the future, the option of immediate live chat will also be offered.